Dock Ellis (Box Score: 06-12-1970)
Just 11 days before he faced the NL West's sixth place San Diego Padres on Thursday, June 12, Dock Ellis had beaten the very same Padres, 5-1, with a strong six-hitter. Now, he faced them in the first game of a doubleheader before a crowd of 9,903 at San Diego Stadium.
The 25-year-old Ellis lugged a 4-4 record for the second place Pirates of the NL East. The Padres, in their second year in the National League, countered with Dave Roberts.
Roberts was outstanding. He made only two mistakes, serving up second and seventh inning home run balls to Willie Stargell.
But Ellis was better. Although he was wild, walking eight and hitting one, the Bucs' hurler set the Padres down without a hit. Ellis struck out six and retired the side in order only three times.
It took a fantastic catch by second baseman Bill Mazeroski to preserve the no-hitter. Leading off the seventh, pinch-hitter Ramon Webster laced a low, hard liner to Mazeroski's right. The slick fielding second sacker took two steps, dove and made a sparkling backhanded catch.
The Padres hit few other balls hard. Ellis, however, was in trouble right from the star. In the first after getting Dave Campbell to fly out to right, he walked Steve Huntz. Al Ferrara fouled out to first, but Nate Colbert followed with another walk. The inning ended when Ollie Brown was called out on strikes.
Ellis retired the Padres in order in the second with the help of a fine one-handed catch in center field by Matty Alou on Chris Cannizzaro's hard liner.
But with two outs in the third, Huntz walked again. Ferrar then struck out. It was a similar story in the fourth when Ellis hit Ivan Murrell with a pitch after strikout out Colbert and Brown. After Murrell stole second, Cannizzaro fouled out behind the plate.
Ellis got wild again in the fifth after getting the firs two outs. He walked Campbell, who stole second, and Huntz for the third time. Ferrara grounded out to end the inning.
The pattern differed in the sixth when Colbert drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Ellis got Brown and Murrell on pop ups, then walked Cannizzaro before striking out Tommy Dean.
Mazeroski made his brilliant play on Webster in the seventh, and Ellis went on to reitre the side in order. In the eighth, Ferrare flew out to right and Colbert hit a sinking liner that Alou grabbed at the knees in center. Brown walked, but was stranded as Murrell forced him at second a grounder to short.
Ellis ended strongly, getting the Padres out in order in the ninth. Cannizzaro opened with an easy fly to Alou in center. Pinch-hitter Van Kelly then bounced a grounder to first where Al Oliver gloved it and threw to Ellis covering the bag for the second out. Ed Spiezio pinch-hit, and after running the count to 2-2, took a called third strike for the final out.
The Padres came back to win the second game, 5-2. Ellis went on to fashion a 13-10 record for the season.
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